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OCR Supports
Pro-Life Leader’s Allegations

By Citizens for a Pro-Life Society Editors

 
Three Michigan abortion clinics have been cited
by the Office for Civil Rights
as violating federal HIPAA laws.
 

After a two-year investigation, Woman Care, Sharpes Family Planning and Women's Advisory abortion clinics were all found to be in violation of Federal HIPAA (Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act) statutes in the improper disposal of patients' health care records. The Chicago Office for Civil Rights began an investigation of the three clinics after a formal complaint was filed by pro-life activist, Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society in September 2008.

In February, March and April 2008 members of CPLS (Citizens for a Pro-life Society) conducted searches of the trash dumpsters used by these clinics. The clinics repeatedly dumped whole patient records, including intake forms, abortion appointment schedule sheets, recovery room reports, lab reports, insurance forms, photo-copied driver's licenses, applications for financial aid to off-set the cost of the abortion and other documents that revealed personal health care information.

Hundreds of patient records were recovered, the largest share from the Woman Care clinic, located in Lathrup Village, MI, and owned by Alberto Hodari. In addition to the patient records, extensive bio-hazard waste and the remains of aborted unborn children were also discovered at the clinic dumpsters. Sharpes Family Planning is located in Detroit with its sister clinic, Women's Advisory, located in Livonia, MI. The latter clinics are operated by Reginald Sharpe. Miller filed the HIPAA complaints in September 2008 and OCR (Office for Civil Rights) notified the clinics of its federal investigation in December of that year. A fourth investigation is still pending regarding Eastpointe Gynecology, owned by Jacob Kalo--another Detroit abortion clinic.

Two years after Miller filed her complaints, the OCR sent letters to Miller, dated September 28 and 29, 2010, informing her that the OCR supported her allegations. Sharpes Family Planning and Women's Advisory "acknowledged that the disclosures occurred as alleged." Woman Care clinic offered an explanation that a janitorial service, contracted by the clinic, was responsible for the violations.

Miller states: “When the discovery was first made public, Hodari told Michigan authorities that poorly trained clinic staff was responsible. However, we found numerous patient records several weeks in a row along with all of the horrid bio-hazard waste. I believe that this was the usual Hodari protocol and that he was dumping patient records, bio-hazard waste and fetal remains into that trash dumpster for years. (see video of CPLS discoveries at www.prolifesociety.com). There is no way that such complete disregard for medical standards and disrespect for those women occurred without Hodari and these other abortionists knowing about it!"

In its letters to Miller the OCR states that the clinics have complied with their directives and put into place policies and practices to ensure that future HIPAA violations do not occur.

Miller states: I'm glad that the OCR took these complaints seriously, but I have to say, the clinics are getting off with just another slap on the hand. Where are the real penalties for the flagrant violations they committed? Where's the justice for the women whose rights and dignity they violated? The OCR should have made these abortionists pay heavy fines and retribution. These are serious violations of HIPAA law and after two years of waiting, the outcome is rather disappointing. The OCR could have sent a real message to other abortion providers and that opportunity was missed."

OCR letter to Miller page 1 OCR letter to Miller page 2

For more information call:

Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society 248 444-9096

Alyce Hilden—investigator for the Office for Civil Rights 312 353-9688 or 312 353-5693

Arturo Garcia—supervising investigator OCR 312 886-5287

 

 
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